Average house prices rose 0.5 per cent in February, making it the biggest rise in five months according to the latest data from LSL Property Services.
The North West, East Midlands, South West and Wales all recorded new peak average prices in the month.
Annually, however, price growth continued to slow, slipping to 0.6 per cent from 0.7 per cent in January. The South East and London appear to weigh on the market, with annual prices up 2.5 per cent if those regions were excluded.
It leaves the average value of a home in England & Wales at £299,556, up £1,512 compared to one month earlier, and £1,700 compared to a year ago.
“Housing supply in the UK isn’t meeting demand and there is still a bottleneck of available properties. The industry needs to work together to provide a long-term solution to increase movement within the market” explains Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains.
“By building more homes and introducing more initiatives for each stage of the property lifecycle we should start to see more choice for first time buyers, second steppers and last-time buyers” he adds.
Whilst there have been monthly increases in house prices for the last two months, the annual rate of growth has slowed in England and Wales. Although its beginnings were in London, this has now spread to the South East and North East too. All three have seen prices fall on an annual basis.
Prices in London fell again, down £4,662 or 0.8 per cent leaving average prices in the capital at £593,396. That’s down 2.6 per cent annually, the biggest decline since August 2009.
Average prices in the 11 highest-priced boroughs have fallen most, by 3.8 per cent, while mid-priced boroughs are down an average 2.7 per cent. At the top, Wandsworth has seen the biggest fall in the capital, with the average price declining 14.9 per cent to £685,567 from £805,460 a year ago, followed by the City, where prices are now £844,768, down 10.8 per cent from last January.
The cheaper boroughs have fared better. More than half have seen price rises over the year, led by 4.5 per cent growth in Bexley, which, with an average price of £363,082, still has the cheapest property in the capital outside Barking and Dagenham (£300,627).
Waltham Forest, meanwhile, which is just in the bottom 11, has seen prices increase 3.1 per cent. It was the only borough in January to set a new peak average price, of £464,872. Overall, however, the cheapest third of London’s borough still saw a modest fall in prices over the period, down 0.5 per cent on a year ago.